MC student designs new logo for Isaac’s Café

MC student designs new logo for Isaac’s Café

Feb. 21, 2017

Isaac’s Café now has a new logo to complement its new look.

Last summer, the student café, located in Maryville College’s Bartlett Hall, received a fresh coat of paint and new décor to highlight the café’s retro feel, and administrators decided that a new, student-designed logo would complete the look.

Junior design major Alicia Yarlett '18 designed the new logo as part of Adrienne Schwarte’s Art 231: Typography course.

"To direct Isaac's update, we had a focus group with students and [former Dean of Students] Vandy Kemp. In one of those conversations, it was suggested that we update the Isaac’s logo,” said James Dulin, general manager of the College’s food service provider, Metz Culinary Management. “It was Vandy’s suggestion that we make it a student-led project.”

Dulin and the College’s Office of Marketing & Communications contacted Schwarte, associate professor of design at MC, to see if she could help. The 11 students in her Art 231: Typography course then were asked to work on some logo concepts for Isaac’s Café. The project was focused on being mostly typographic in nature, but students were allowed to add a few simple illustrative elements if they fit within the context of the design, Schwarte said.

“It was a good project because it provided them an opportunity to focus on typographic solutions to a logo, create something for a space they may use frequently and are very familiar with, and add to their portfolio with a project that had actual use beyond the classroom,” Schwarte said. “It provided them an opportunity for their work to be judged/critiqued by professionals and clients outside of just the instructor’s perspective.”

Once the projects were complete, a selection committee narrowed the options from 11 to four. Maryville College’s Student Government Association (SGA) was then asked to consider the four final logos for the new design.

“In almost a double-blind approach, we presented the logo choices to the SGA body, and each member was given a two-choice/vote opportunity. After narrowing down to the final two options, the entire SGA body voted for the favorite between the two,” said MC senior and SGA President Nicholas Peterson '17, adding that the students were unaware of the artists’ names during the voting process.

The chosen design embodies the “simplicity” sought by Dulin and creatively sports MC’s tartan.

“I wanted it to reflect the old-fashioned, sports-café feel that Isaac’s embodies,” Yarlett said. “I’ve always associated the tartan with the identity and history of the College and saw a perfect opportunity to incorporate it into my design.”

Yarlett is no stranger to the design process. Her father owns Visual Voice, the Maryville-based graphic design firm that designed MC’s current athletic logos.

“I am honored to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” Yarlett said. “My dad and his team at Visual Voice have been incredibly influential in my development as a designer outside of school.”

As for her feelings towards winning, Yarlett said she felt “extremely blessed by the confirmation that [she is] exactly where God wants [her] to be.”

An unveiling ceremony was held today in the café to introduce the new logo to the campus community and recognize its designer.

Dulin said the logo would be used on printed and electronic signage, promotional materials and the Maryville College Dining Services website. He awarded Yarlett "flex dollars" that can be used for meals in Isaac's or the Margaret Ware Dining Hall inside Pearsons Hall.

By Allison Franklin ’18, Communications Assistant 

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.